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CONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY OF A CHILD- FLORIDA


JACKSONVILLE CRIMINAL ATTORNEY| DEFINITION, PENALTIES, AND DEFENSES


Under Florida law, it is a criminal offense to commit an act that causes or contributes to child delinquency, or to induce a child to become or remain a delinquent. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor child is a serious offense and carries penalties that may include up to one year of jail or probation.


If you have been accused of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Child or Minor in Jacksonville or Duval County, Florida, you may have defenses available to contest the charge or to minimize potential penalties.  Contact our Jacksonville Criminal Attorney today for a free consultation.


Definition of Contributing to Child Delinquency- Florida Law


The offense of “contributing to child delinquency” is defined under Section 827.04, Florida Statutes.  Under the law, any person who:


  1. Commits any act which causes, tends to cause, encourages, or contributes to a child becoming a delinquent or dependent child or a child in need of services; or
  2. Induces or endeavors to induce, by act, threat, command, or persuasion, a child to commit or perform any act, follow any course of conduct, or live in a manner that causes or tends to cause such child to become or to remain a dependent or delinquent child or a child in need of services


commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 [Florida Statutes].


To prove the crime of contributing to child/minor delinquency in Florida, the prosecution must establish any one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:



Under Florida law, a “delinquent act” is defined as “a violation of any law of this state, the United States, or any other state which is a misdemeanor or a felony or a violation of a county or municipal ordinance which would be punishable by incarceration if the violation were committed by an adult.”  Fla. Stat. §984.03(55) (2012).


Under Section 984.03(9), Florida Statutes, a “child in need of services” means a child found by the court:



The term “dependent” child is defined in Section 39.01(15), Florida Statutes.  A child found to be dependent means a child who is found by the court:


Penalties for Child Abuse- Florida


In Florida, contributing to child delinquency is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail or twelve months probation.  Additional penalties may include fines, court costs, restitution awards, community service, supervision by the the Department of Children and Families, and other court-ordered sanctions.


Defenses to a Child Delinquency Charge- Jacksonville, Florida


There are multiple defenses available under Florida law to contest a charge of Contributing to Child Delinquency / Dependency / Child in Need of Services.  Where the accused is charged with “knowingly” contributing to the delinquency, a lack of knowledge may serve as a complete defense to the charge. Lack of causation may serve as another defense if the accused’s actions did not actually induce, tend to induce, cause, or tend to cause the alleged delinquency or dependency or need for services.  There may also be factual disagreements about the defendant’s conduct, and legal reasons the child would not be classified as delinquent, dependent, or as a child in need of services.  



If you have been accused of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Child or Contributing to Child Dependency or Need of Services in Jacksonville, Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, or Baker County, Florida, you may have defenses available to contest the charge or to minimize potential penalties.  Contact our Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer today for a free consultation.  

CHILD DELINQUENCY STATUTE